SV Vs. DL – ON THE TRACK

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That’s not Ronn, it’s Rob. The SV proves itself on the track.Photo: Flair Photo

Since we still had both the SV and DL when we hit Shannonville for a track day a few days later, we thought it might be interesting to tape up the lights and put them out there to see what they can do. After all, the SV’s supposed to be the tuned-up motor and in a more sporty chassis than the V-Strom, so what better place?

Under track conditions I found the SV’s throttle to be a bit snatchy, which proved to be a tricky to get just right in corners. However, the extra power gives it a big advantage out of said corners and, of course, in the straights, where it would pull away from the Strom – enabling you to draft other bikes AND pass, which was not something that the Strom was really able to entertain.

The brakes felt altogether sharper as well, which really helped when desperately trying to get that last bit of advantage at the end of the straight, before hauling all on and banking it into the sharp right … muddy run-off waiting in anticipation of any mis-calculation.

The more aggressive chassis initially felt somewhat twitchy but after a few laps of taking it easy I quickly realized that it wasn’t going to do anything grievous and was soon able to shoot into corners with good accuracy, where the Strom would require a few extra inches leeway thanks to the slight vagaries of the softer suspension.

Of course, the ergos weren’t as comfy as the Strom, and as a result I’d get tired quicker – especially towards the end of the day. Due to its spacious design, I found the Strom to be a much easier beast to get into a comfy position when attacking the corners, which it would take with ease thanks to the leverage provided by the wide bars.

I think the main thing that hit me though, was that although the SV proved to be a very capable and entertaining track tool, the V-Strom was an unexpectedly useable one too. The ergos catered for my 6′ 4” frame very well, while still enabling me to get into sufficiently sporty positions. The extra power in the mid-range was quite an asset in the tighter parts of the Shannonville Nelson circuit, and there’s really nothing quite like keeping up with sportbikes on a dual-sport to boot.

In short, the SV is an excellent track tool (as expected), but please don’t be put off the idea of slapping your V-Strom on there either – especially if you’re of a lankier disposition – it’ll not only do it, but put a big smile on your face too … and maybe embarrass a few others to boot!

What’s not to like about that?

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